chapter  2
14 Pages

‘An idleness bordering on the wacky’: Paul Cox and the contradictions of an Australian art cinema

WithAdrian Martin

In a short review of Paul Cox’sMyFirstWifewritten at the time of the film’s release in 1984,

Ross Gibson ended an admiring inventory of its central elements (themes of private life and

social definitions, ‘formal sensitivity and restrained ingenuity’) with an ambivalent coda.

‘The other salient feature of the film – perhaps a recommendation, perhaps not – is its art’

(1984, 17).